Wednesday, June 16, 2010

BSNYC Road Dairy: Getting There is Half the Pun

Yesterday, I arrived in Austin, Texas, where Mellow Johnny's will host a 10:30am "urban ride" today, followed by a signing-cum-costume-cum-pageant-cum-soirée later this evening. (As a published author, I am obligated to use the word "cum" in its non-sexual sense, though this does not preclude my clicking on the "audio pronunciation" over and over again and giggling.) If you are an Austinite, or Austinian, or are Austintatious, or whatever you call people from Austin, I hope to see you there. In any case, here is the view I enjoyed from the Congress Avenue Bridge yesterday evening:

The bridge was lined with people waiting to see the largest urban bat colony in North America spring into action, though I was content to simply stop briefly, take in the sunset, and continue on my way. (The Congress Avenue Bridge was cool back when there were, like, two or three bats under it, but now that it's become gentrified I'm totally over it.) Also, I had to continue testing my bicycle to make sure my elaborate bar end roll cage cockpit configuration survived the flight from New York. (Hundreds of bats could probably roost comfortably in its curlicues.) Speaking of elaborate bar end configurations, I recently received a photograph of this one from a reader:

We've all seen the traditional road bike drop bar setup, but when you see it recreated with a series of bar ends and a pair of flat bar brake levers you only appreciate its simplicity more. Incredibly, this configuration manages to provide for all the same hand positions a road bike cockpit would, with the added benefit that it is segmented so that it can be broken down completely--which, given the fact that it was bolted to a folding bike, the rider apparently needs to do.

Fortunately, the airline failed to destroy my bicycle in transit, so at least for the Austin leg of my trip it remains rideable. As for the flight itself, it started out well enough. I had my view:

My pretentious reading material (which looked oddly out of place outside of its usual venue, which is the bathroom):


And even World Cup soccer (or "football"), which played (silently, sans annoying horns) on the headrest in front of me:

I'm not even remotely a soccer fan, but I do appreciate the truly international character of the event, so it was somehow reassuring to know I could glance at it occasionally if I wanted. In particular, I like the juxtaposition of wildly different countries and cultures that the World Cup affords, and this particular match featured the sex-tastic fabulosity of Brazil (home of the "Carnaval") vs. the uptight repression of the People's Republic of Korea (home of Kim Jong Il). North Korea is like that kid on the block with the crazy parents, and you know something's a big deal when even he's allowed to come out and play.

I was quite comfortable and all was going smoothly until I heard a horrifying rumble and a terrifying tearing sound, followed by a great rush of air. My first thought was that the aircraft had lost a wing and that I was about to be sucked from the fuselage and ejected into the stratosphere, so I grabbed the arm of the gentleman sitting next to me, sobbed uncontrollably, and wailed about the injustice of my fate. (Oddly, the gentleman was unperturbed, perhaps under the impression I was a North Korean soccer fan disappointed that my countrymen had just missed yet another scoring opportunity.) After a few moments though it became clear that the airplane was indeed still intact, and that the ghastly sound was emanating from the passenger behind me:

It was, I can say without exaggeration, the loudest snoring I've ever heard.

Incidentally, it's worth noting that the passenger looks not unlike Rip Torn:

Though I would wager Torn himself never snored so loud, even while sleeping off one of his famously "epic" alcoholic rampages.

Peering behind me, I noted that his knees were contacting my seatback, so I sort of flailed and flopped around in an attempt to wake him. However, this only served to dislodge his head slightly:

Turning back to my magazine, I attempted to lose myself in prose, but it proved impossible. As a rule, I do not listen to music while I read, preferring instead to focus wholly on the words or wholly on the music, but in this case I realized the only way I was going to be able to finish the short story I was enjoying ("Lenny Hearts Eunice" by Gary Shteyngart) would be through the judicious application of headphones. Unfortunately, the sounds of his slumber penetrated almost everything I played, even when I did so at top volume. In fact, the only recording with the right combination of noise, feedback, and dissonance to shield me from the series of snorts, gasps, and wheezes he was emitting was "Songs the Lord Taught Us" by the Cramps:

You may want to obtain a copy lest you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

Anyway, the passenger did stir occasionally, but only to perform a series of hacking coughs, undoubtedly caused by the sorry state of his snore-ravaged trachea. Then, he'd just start snoring again:


Apart from this, the flight was fine, and I even got to see Brazil score a goal. For some reason, this caused the scorer to break down in tears, and he had to be caressed and consoled like a crying babe by a teammate:


The only other inconvenience I encountered was at the airport in Austin, where I was detained and interrogated for almost three hours due to the fact that I was not wearing a LiveStrong bracelet. Incidentally, it's hot here--so hot that the multiple LiveStrong bracelets everybody is forced to wear have melted together on their wrists in great misshapen yellow hunks. There are people on bikes, though, as this picture proves:


There are also margaritas:


I look forward to enjoying more this evening.

93 comments:

dcdouglas said...

podium?

Anonymous said...

Ullrich!

Chris Hill-Scott said...

Second step?

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Crash Cavendish said...

Couldn't sleep my way into first.

black dickerson said...

black dickerson

Anonymous said...

early bird!

Easton Heights Blogger said...

oop! earlier and earlier while on vacation!

Anonymous said...

Podium!!! KS

Anonymous said...

I've got to be the 1st person in Australia to be reading this... what a feeling. Mum is going to be proud. Finally.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Austin the birthplace of the cone of smugness?

Dave said...

What timne did you write this one 4:30? Getting in some early training for the Mellow Johnny's ride?

Matthew said...

I would have won if Cav held his line...

Anonymous said...

yay Austin, see you tonight Snobby.

I am the real engine said...

Woo, woo

Death Race said...

Oh snap people in the Southern Hemisphere getting all the podium opportunities!

Visegripmikey said...

Damn early this morning!

Marc said...

best finish yet!

mikeweb said...

the peloton learns quickly.

g said...

Dammit! Top 20.

g said...

Man oh man, I thought this through and was SURE that RTMS would sleep in for the time change, I could have a cup of coffee, my morning meditation and snag a podium, maybe a win. I have my left nipple pic all set and everything. But, no.

Fergie said...

You said, "cum" and "congress".

tee he he.

Visegripmikey said...

And further to my query yesterday, instead of stating come one and all to readmyblog, like showing up to a ride in good shape, should I post a comment here, well, then my own blog should be in good shape as well.

g said...

How much easier would this trip have been if only you could have gotten the HAPLAPNAPTAP (Have a Pista, leave a Pista. Need a Pista, take a Pista) in place so you wouldn't have to pack a bike at all. Either that, or if Walmart sold their fixie in the stores.

hillbilly said...

Did you do your part and buy a "keep Austin weird" t shirt, or are you at least being weird?

smarmy jerk said...

I love that their are Raymour and Flanigan ads on your side banner. youve come (cum?) a long way from hokey bicycle brand coffee, but to what i dunno...

Velouria said...

Hey, you copied my in-flight blogpost theme! Totally unfair.

Anonymous said...

15th°°°!

Anonymous said...

ohh...29th!

tail said...

early

Anonymous said...

When I started reading there were 14 comments, now there are 29 (as I write. I wonder where it'll end up?

I have 2 copies of said Cramps album, thanks; one in case of emergencies....

Anonymous said...

Ooops, missed a ). Insert as necessary....

hey nonny mouse

Nogocyclist said...

Snob Texas is Central Standard Time, you are supposed to get up later, not earlier.

Lantern Rouge said...

pack fill

frilly said...

Have fun in Texas Snobbie! Easy on the margaritas lest you fall in your own urine again.

g--all things happen for a reason.

debichan1a said...

the gentrified bat thing was too funny for me.

Anonymous said...

woooo podium

Crash Cavendish said...

Matthew @ 9:16AM -

Let's leave my line out of this.

p.s. Just to check - did you pick up my wallet by mistake? I somehow ended up with Haussler's.

R. Zach Thomas said...

Goo Goo Muck.

JamesKInIA said...

Your bike... we must see this! Not even the cheapskates at Instructables have attempted a DIY coupled bike.

Anonymous said...

World Cup is AWESOME!!! Can anyone stop Mexico? I DONT THINK SO!!!!

grog said...

You talk about incongruent juxtapositions, my favorite words. Enjoy many margaritas. How do you like the wild west now?

10,000 Aches said...

Snob,

My helper monkey, Lefty, is making a heroic effort to be at the signing tonight. Please don't introduce her to Vito as I don't think she'll return to Mpls with the goods.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Snobby go visit the oldest bike shop in Austin, Freewheeling Bicycles at 24th and San Gabriel.

WhitneyD said...

"One half hillbilly and one half punk...stick out your can, cuz I'm the garbage man."

Anonymous said...

Schteyngart is from Oberlin! Make up your mind!

-tuff wheel IIs

Udder said...

You should have asked for a straw from the flight attendant and shot spitballs into the snoring guys mouth. It works every time.

me said...

Snob, why don't you ever take video for your blogs? Maybe a snoring passenger, or a cobra Colnago in action.
Enjoy the road show.

Anonymous said...

I miss Austin, but I don't miss the Texas heat. Have a good time- eat BBQ, Tex-Mex and many margaritas.

Anonymous said...

So are you going to be cycling in the Bay Area with the common folk? I suggest Marin if you do.

leroy said...

Darn. Kept off the podium by Cramps.

Note to MJ BRA attendees: make sure BSNYC signs your book "BSNYC" and not with some pseudonym.

CommieCanuck said...

sigh...R.I.P. Lux Interior.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Snob, just a piece of unsolicited advice to a new father from an old hand - When you "carress and console" a crying baby, do not rest its windpipe in the crick of your elbow. The Brazilians in the photo are doing it wrong.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the sounds of his slumber penetrated almost everything I played, even when I did so at top volume. In fact, the only recording with the right combination of noise, feedback, and dissonance to shield me from the series of snorts, gasps, and wheezes he was emitting was "Songs the Lord Taught Us" by the Cramps

So, you fought snoring guy's snorts, gasps, and wheezes with Lux's snorts, gasps, and wheezes?

yofilly said...

Anon 9:12-my thoughts exactly.

I worry about you in Austin, Snobby. Looks like you're working the margarita cam again. No good can cum of it. (hee hee.)

How original said...

Hey, I want a blog too so I can bitch about people on airplanes!

Anonymous said...

will you be bro-ing out with austin's most famous resident on your visit?

urchin said...

I see you cleaned your fingernails for this trip to Austin. What's the occasion?

NPJ

BikeSnobNYC said...

How Original,

Just start one--they're free!

--RTMS

Anonymous said...

"will you be bro-ing out with austin's most famous resident on your visit?"

Gibby Haynes? Oh wait, he moved to Brooklyn.

Headlongintomyownurine said...

Yeah, what frilly said. You'll have too many, you'll go to the WC, you'll see some hilarious pubes, you'll start laughing, and then ...

g said...

"How Original,
Just start one--they're free!
--RTMS "

[Italics mine]
Surly, drunk and sweaty, just like his namesake. I LOVE it!

Jerry said...

What's the deal with airline peanuts?!?

Anonymous said...

Dear Snob,
How can you not be a soccer fan?
You shuld be more like me, I love soccer.
I am eco friendly too.

Smug and kisses from Europe

Anonymous said...

this post isnt about bikes at all

Test Tickle said...

anon 4:21

did you not see the bar end setup?

did you not see the lone cyclist in front the ice cream shop where Jungle Julia used to hang?

jeez.

balls.

Anonymous said...

dsjo intd
Sleep deprivation due to new child?

Isolation Helmet said...

I can't make your San Francisco ride Snobby since it is in the heart of the hipster belt and the smugness of the fixed gear riders makes me ill.

Daddo said...

Boston -
margaritas, check
cool weather, check
tonsilectomies, check

have fun in Austin

Sigurd said...

At the Zombie Dance
Here's Ben and Betty
They tap their toes
But they don't get sweaty
They don't give a damn
They're done dead already

At the Zombie Dance
Nobody moves
They tap their toes
Yeah, wiggle their ears to get in the groove
yeah

TOUR SNOB
SNOR WARS
BIKE FANG

heath said...

hey man, groovy jersey.

Anonymous said...

Mellow Johnny's?

Snobby, you chose the only bike store in town that carries Rapha-wear. And when I say "bike store" I mean "excessively pretentious look-at-me hangout."

Perhaps things will be made right again when they finish the new federal courthouse across the street from Lance's place and the continuous parade of meth-dealer-defendants start visiting...

Anonymous said...

Funny thing. I was flying to Austin yesterday too, but everytime I tried to close my eyes some douchebag in front of me would flop back in his seat. It dislocated my knee. However, I found his bike at baggage claim and replaced his skewers with Twizzlers.

Jefe said...

As much as I like to visit Mellow Johnny's, it is more of a bike museum/coffee bar, than a bike store. However, I did get a very nice t-shirt there.

Fabian said...

AYHLTMS

All You Haters Listen To Me Snore

Anonymous said...

DISPLEASED: I WISH TO READ OF BICYCLES.

theshepherdsdog said...

hope all are having fun and the shop!

Luck E. Seven said...

Dear Soccer/Bike/Airplane Snob,

You spelled fun wrong (pun).

You spelled Brazil wrong (Brasil).

You spelled Carnival wrong (Carnaval).

You always spell carbon fiber wrong (crabon fibre).

Now do you understand?
Do you understand?
Do you understand?
All right - hop off...


A

spacemodular said...

Dearest Snobius,

I hope you are enjoying your deal with the great Satan!

Trek is about as corporate and evil as it gets in the bike world...

I imagine that you are truly missing your darling, lovely little family.

Good luck getting through the tour!

spacemodular said...

p.s. have you met Gary Fisher yet?

Maybe you need a fancy bike suit?

Anonymous said...

茜茜知道他有了外遇
他變得春風滿面,嘴裡總是哼著歌曲
他開始變得有耐心聽她說話、會買禮物給她、甚至帶她出遊
茜茜知道這是因為他對外遇有愧疚
她沒有揭穿丈夫的外遇,甚至享受這樣的生活
茜茜偷偷的跟姐妹滔說:感謝老公的外遇帶來更美好的夫妻生活!

Tinker said...

You call Austinites "Wierdos", Hence the phrase "Keep Austin Wierd!"

I suspect this was thought up by a UT student who misspelled "Keep Austin Wired" the motto of A) local coffee house, or B) Oat Willies, or C) the mayor or D) all of the above.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Salty and Sore said...

Hooray, Margarita-Cam!!!

Solateimearly said...

Podium!! ??

diego said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
diego said...

http://www.marca.com/2010/06/18/ciclismo/1276858977.html

this a spanish article about the future US cycling stars upcoming.

hope you all understanding it,can tell me if you agree.

cwg said...

are those first-class seats? For shame! Where is the street cred? You might as well be showing up to the local fixie meet-up on a Time dressed in full campy super record.

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